Time Magazine has just named the Bionic Energy Harvester, which was developed by researchers at Simon Fraser University, as one of its Top 50 Inventions of 2008. The device is a wearable orthopedic knee brace that extracts up to 13 watts of power. One minute of walking will generate about half an hour of talking on a mobile phone.
Bionic Power is the spinoff company from SFU, a university based in Burnaby, Canada. “Every day we move closer to the goal of turning this great idea into a product that will improve the lives of soldiers, first responders, users of mobile medical devices, and other people whose lives depend upon portable power,” said the company's CEO Yad Garcha.
The device, first unveiled in the journal Science last February, is powered from the energy put into slowing down the knee joint at the end of each person's step. The process is similar to the regenerative braking found in hybrids. Commercial applications could make it possible to self-power prosthetic limbs or medical implants.
While the brace is years away from getting on the commercial market, the Canadian military is testing the prototype next spring. Eventually the goal is to make it smaller and lightweight. The military prototypes will be about half the weight of the device first tested earlier this year.
Time Magazine listed the Bionic Energy Harvester at 33 in its Top 50 list calling the device “perhaps the most promising in a class of products that harvest energy - all the more important at a time when portable tech, from Blackberries to iPods, is becoming ubiquitous.”
Image Via Science
written by Andrew Leinonen, November 03, 2008
written by Fred, July 17, 2009
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